By Yoginder Sikand
Bin fancied himself to be the luckiest baby goat in the world. He lived with a farmer and his family. The farmer pampered Bin almost as much as he did his own children. Bin had a corner of the living room all to himself, where he slept on a soft mattress made of feathers. Unlike other goats, he didn’t have to wander about in search of food. The farmer’s wife served him a giant bowl of porridge, made of greens and sprouted wheat mixed with honey, three times a day. She was, Bin thought, the best cook in the world!
No other baby goat ever enjoyed such luxury as he did, Bin knew, and for that he was grateful. All day, he lazed around, nibbling at the bushes and playing hide-and-seek with the farmer’s children. The farmer’s wife had given him a big brass bell for his first birthday, and he was very fond of it. ‘Ting-tong! Ting-tong!’ the bell merrily sang as Bin trotted about having great fun.
But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. One day, the farmer stomped into the living room, where Bin was fast asleep. He yanked off the blanket that covered Bin and, grabbing Bin by his legs, he stuffed him into a sack. You can’t imagine how frightened poor Bin was. The farmer had never behaved like that before.
The farmer swung the sack on his back and, stepping out into the yard, fastened it to the carrier of his bicycle. Poor Bin! The sack landed with a thud on the carrier, and Bin yelped in pain. The mouth of sack was tightly tied, and Bin could hardly breathe through the little hole in the sack that the farmer had made for him to stick his nose out of.
The farmer jumped onto the cycle and hurriedly pedaled away, singing a song to himself: ‘Bin’s going to the butcher and I’m going to become richer! Ha ha ha!’
Bin was scared out of his wits. The farmer and his wife, he had always thought, loved him like their own child, but now it seemed this was not the case at all. He had been fed special food for so many days just to fatten him up so that he could fetch the farmer a big sum of money when he sold him to the butcher. ‘I thought the farmer loved me, but now I know that he loves only the money that I’ll fetch him,’ Bin sobbed.
In a short while, the farmer arrived at the butcher’s shop. He parked his bicycle outside and went in to discuss with the butcher how much he would pay him for Bin.
‘I’ve got the chubbiest baby goat you’ve ever seen,’ Bin heard the farmer proudly tell the butcher. ‘You better pay me well for this heavy hunk of meat.’
Bin feared his end had arrived. Now, in times of danger, people sometimes do what they would otherwise consider impossible, and that’s what Bin did. He had recently sprouted a pair of sharp horns, but, till then, had no idea what to do with them. They were quite useless, he had thought, but now they came into good use. He butted into the sack with his little horns, pushing his head this way and that till it almost fell off. In a short while, he had made a giant tear in the sack, through which he managed to leap out.
‘Hurrah!’ he exclaimed.
As you can imagine, Bin was really upset with the farmer for having deceived him. And so, to teach the farmer a lesson, he put his little horns to good use again, drilling a massive hole in the tyres of the farmer’s bicycle. ‘That will serve that horrible fellow right,’ he chuckled. ‘He won’t dare cheat innocent animals again.’
Then, filled with a sudden burst of energy and amazed at himself for being so clever as to foil the farmer’s nasty plans, Bin took to his feet, running away as fast as he could into the nearby woods where no human beings dared to enter, knowing that there he would be safe from greedy people like the farmer who pretended to love animals but only used them to make money.